My pen name is Hywela Lyn and I live in Bedfordshire, England, although my heart remains in my native rural Wales, which inspired so much of my writing and where I was born and lived most of my life until my marriage to my husband, Dave..
First off, how has your week been?
Well it’s only Tuesday today and yesterday was a bit of a blur as I was so tired – I had a wonderful weekend at the Festival of Romance, meeting up with old and new friends, sharing a room with the talented new author Sarah Tranter, and embarrassing myself doing a couple of readings. (Actually they went quite well, I do quite enjoy reading aloud, although I don’t’ really like standing up in public.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing? Career description
I live in a small village in England, with my long suffering husband Dave, and have a family of two horses, a rescued Jack Russell who runs the house, two horses, Harri and T’pau, and a feral stable cat. Unfortunately the horses are kept some miles from where we live and my dream is to one day have a smallholding in Wales and be able to see my horses through my own window!
As a child I loved reading and have always written stories for myself and my friends, and later had several short stories published in various magazines, including ‘The Lady’. I was never called by my first name ‘Hywela’ but always known by my middle name ‘Lyn’, so when my debut novel ‘Starquest’, was published by the Wild Rose Press, I decided to combine both names as a ‘pen name’ – but I still answer to ‘Lyn’ to my family and friends. Although most of my writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds I create are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature. My characters often have to fight the elements and the terrain itself. My heroes are strong and courageous, but chivalrous and honourable - and of course, handsome and hunky. My heroines are also strong and courageous, but retain their femininity and charm. However difficult the journey, love will always win in the end. My first novel was followed by a sequel ‘Children Of The Mist’, which although it features some of the characters in ‘Starquest’ can also be read as a ‘stand alone’ novel. I am currently working on a third story the complete the series.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I started writing stories while in junior school and before that made up stories in my head. I’ve also always loved horses and what I really longed to do when I left school was work in a riding stables, and although I had to content myself with just helping out at the local riding school, while I worked as an office administrator to earn a living, I was able, after saving up for five years, to buy my first horse, a part-Thoroughbred mare called ‘Flikka’. After several years riding ‘English’ style, I learnt to ride ‘Western’ and completed several long distance ‘endurance’ rides in Wales. I have plotted many a story on the back of a horse and although I only decided to try to publish a full length novel a few years ago, have written on and off for as long as I can remember. Apart from riding, there is nothing I enjoy more than escaping into a world of my own creation.
Is anything in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
My settings are a mixture of personal experiences and imaginary ones. Although I write SF/Futuristic and Fantasy, I use real landscapes as a basis for my settings, most of them based on the beautiful countryside of my native Wales. For instance, I was once standing watching the mist swirl over the mountains at sunset, and then realised it was actually snow, and as I watched the setting sun turned the flakes pink. This sparked an idea in my mind and the planet ‘Niflheim’, covered with ice, and snow that sometimes settled in a blanket tinged pink with minute plant forms. The planet was only meant to be a minor incident in ‘Starquest’, but became the major setting for the sequel ‘Children Of The Mist’. I usually manage to have an animal of some sort in most of my stories, and most often it is a horse. My little endurance mare Sal (sadly now gone over the ‘Rainbow Bridge’), and my Welsh Cob gelding, Harri, appear In the fantasy novella ‘Dancing With Fate. My ‘Prima Donna’ mare, T’pau features in the book I’m going to work on when I’ve finished the third in the ‘Starquest’ trilogy.
Are your books available as eBooks? Were you involved in that process at all? Did you have any say in the title / cover of your book?
Starquest, Children of the Mist and Dancing With Fate are all available in both paperback and eBook format. Starquest and Children Of the Mist were both published by The Wild Rose Press and I was quite happy to leave the technical details to them, LOL. However, when ‘Dancing With Fate’, which had been published as a series by TWRP, was withdrawn from paperback, as were the other nine stories in the series, I requested my rights back and re-published it on Smashwords and Createspace. The process was not too painful, thanks mainly to the guidance of the talented Miss Mae, who also designed the lovely new cover for it. I was able to keep the title for all three books. The cover artist for Starquest did a fantastic job, except that the heroine’s face is not as sweet as I imagined, and she is dark haired – she should have fiery red hair. We are able to fill in a ‘character’ sheet for our covers at The Wild Rose Press, and somehow that detail got missed, although I did state she had ‘flame coloured hair’. However the background is perfect, and the cover for Children Of The Mist was exactly as I envisaged it.
Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
I love the feel of paper books and would always want my books to be in print as well as E-format, but I have a book reader and probably read more eBooks than paperbacks these days, although I think I absorb more detail from the paperbacks.
What does your protagonist think about you? Would they want to hang out with you, their author and creator?
I think Jess from Starquest and I would get on well – there’s a lot of me in her, or rather she is me as I would love to be! I did put her through a lot though, so I think she’d be asking me a lot of searching questions. Thinking about it, I give all my main characters a pretty rough time, and I don’t think I’d really like to get on the wrong side of Kerry, even though he’s my favourite male character.
When you started your book, did you plan on writing it as a series, or did it just grow into one?
Starquest began as a short story and grew into a novel when my heroine told me in no uncertain terms that she was not happy with the way the short story ended and there was a lot more to come. Then after finishing the novel, she decided she wanted to go back and visit her friends on Niflheim, who were facing something of a crisis. Then one of the main characters from the first book demanded his own story. I’m pretty sure the third story will be the final one in the series, but that’s what I thought when I finished the second one!
Do you have plans for a new book?
I am desperately trying to finish the third book in the ‘Starquest’ series. I have the first draft mapped out but it’s just a matter of getting time to revise it and polish it enough to submit.
What genre would you place your books into?
Futuristic or Science Fiction Romance, although Dancing With Fate is definitely pure fantasy, and I might write another fantasy at some point, although I have another futuristic ‘on the back burner’.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Sam, I’ve enjoyed being in the ‘hot seat’.
Hywela Lyn spent most of her life in Wales and the beautiful countryside and legends inspired her to write. Although she now lives in a small village in England, she is very proud of her Welsh heritage and background.
She enjoys weaving romantic tales of the future, and distant, mysterious worlds, stories to truly take you 'out of this world'and beyond. Wherever the muse takes her, one thing remains constant in her writing: The power of love. Love, not only between her hero and heroine, but between friends and siblings, and for their particular world and the creatures that share it.